I’m much too dignified to rub salt in the wounds of my dear, dear friends who support the Atlanta Braves. And besides, the Journal-Constitution’s Mark Bradley is far more qualified for the job.
Mike Remlinger, who can be prickly, threw a ball away and lost a game in Florida this week, and afterward he hinted that Chipper Jones should have overridden the bad throw by making like Stretch McCovey. This was so un-Braves-like as to generate headlines in this paper, and to make Bobby Cox — who maintained he still didn’t know the particulars of Remlinger’s “Ask Chipper if it was catchable” quote — to issue this pronouncement of his own: “We don’t point fingers in the newspaper.”
They haven’t, no. But maybe they do now. Maybe the indignity of playing for the league’s biggest winner and seeing it morph into a shockingly inept loser is changing the dynamics. Maybe the Braves, who have long prided themselves on running a better clubhouse than anyone else, are discovering that enough losses — after Friday’s perfunctory loss to Boston, they’ve dropped 15 of 18 — will make even the Sunshine Boys turn surly.
We come now to a point in a Braves’ season that we haven’t known since Jeff Francouer was in first grade. We come to the point where a team must decide if it’s going to coalesce or cut and run. Other teams reach such lines of demarcation on a regular basis, but things have gone so smoothly here for so outrageously long that the Braves haven’t ever felt the chilly fingers of desperation.
The Braves attempt to make it 14 out of 17 today, as the Red Sox have taken a 1-0 lead on Kevin Youkilis’ leadoff HR.
It was a rough Friday for the Wevie Stonder clan ; Jeff earned a no-decision in the Angels’ 5-4 loss to the Friars, while Jered was demoted to Salt Lake, despite winning all 4 of his starts and compiling a 1.37 ERA, to make room for El Barto on the LAnaheim roster. The LA Times’ Mike DiGiovanni reports that 1B Casey Kotchman, out of the lineup for the past month with a serious case of mononucleousis, will begin a rehab start fairily soon.